US Tax System Illustrated in One Complex Map

Wink Inc. Enrolled Agents America’s Tax Experts ®
Wink Tax Services
Wink Inc. | Enrolled Agents | 2701 Troy Center Dr, Ste 255 | Troy | Michigan | 48084 | Tel: 248-816-1220 | 800-276-8319
Wink Inc. Enrolled Agents America’s Tax Experts ®
Wink Tax Services

2018 New Tax Law Severely Limits

Entertainment Deductions

Highlights:

Business Entertainment Expenses

Business Meals

Directly Related To Test

Associated With Test

Employee Meals

Note: This is one of a series of articles explaining how the various tax changes

in the GOP’s Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (referred to as “the Act” in this article), which

passed in late December 2017, could affect you, your business or your family,

in both 2018 and future years. This series offers strategies that you can

employ to reduce your tax liability under the new law.

If you are a business owner who is accustomed to treating clients to sporting

events, golf getaways, concerts and the like, we have some bad news for you.

The GOP’s tax-reform bill that President Trump signed on December 22nd of

last year eliminated the business-related deduction for entertainment,

amusement or recreation expenses, effective beginning in 2018.

This doesn’t mean you can’t still entertain your clients; it just means you can

no longer deduct 50% of the cost of that entertainment as a business

expense, making it more costly for you to entertain clients.

But all is not lost! The Act does retain a deduction for business meals that are

directly related to or associated with the active conduct of your business. The

term “directly related” means that actual business discussions were

conducted during the meal and you anticipated a specific business benefit

from the meal. The term “associated with” is more liberal and includes meals

either preceding or following a bona fide business discussion. In either case,

the business deduction continues to be 50% of the actual expense. Also

remember that business meals must be documented, including the amount,

business purpose, date, time, place and names of the guests as well as their

business relationship with you.

That's not all! In the past, employers have been accustomed to deducting

100% of the cost of food and beverages provided to employees at or near the

place of business. That too has changed, and the Act now subjects food and

beverages supplied to employees to the 50% limitation. But that deduction is

only allowed through 2025. As of 2026, employers’ costs for food and

beverages furnished to employees will not be deductible.

Meals while traveling out of town on business continue to be deductible and

are also subject to the 50% limitation.

If you have questions related to entertainment and meal expenses, please

give this office a call.

Wink Inc. Enrolled Agents | 2701 Troy Center Dr, Ste 255 | Troy | Michigan | 48084 | Tel: 248-816-1220 | 800-276-8319